It’s only the end of January, and if you’re already struggling to stay away from the fridge and stick with that “get fit” New Year’s Resolution, you’re not alone.  You may, however, be surprised at who’s jogging up alongside you to help keep things on track.

Walgreens and Sears.

Both retailers have expanded their loyalty programs to reward customers for making healthy lifestyle changes, and provided community features to keep members challenged, engaged, and supported as they adopt healthier new habits.

Let’s take a look at how each is rewarding customers for getting fit in 2014.

Walgreens “Steps with Balance Rewards” Program

We talked about Walgreens’ Balance Rewards program back in April when the fitness-oriented Steps with Balance Rewards portion of the loyalty program was introduced. And while we found the signup process to be a mini-endurance test on its own, that doesn’t seem to have slowed growth one bit.

The Walgreens website touts over 85 million members enrolled in Balance Rewards, making it one of the largest and most successful loyalty programs in retail history. Walgreens also shows over 1 million members actively participating in the fitness-oriented Steps portion of the program.

Walgreens’ Steps with Balance Rewards Program Touts Over 1MM Members Actively Logging Their Fitness Activity

Members report their daily activities through the Walgreens mobile app, the Steps community site on, or by connecting a FitBit, BodyMedia, or Withings device to their Steps account (all of which are available for purchase from Walgreens).

This multi-channel approach to connecting customers’ daily activities to the Walgreens brand is a clear fit with Walgreens’ “Well Experience” store concept. It also aligns with its overall positioning as consumers’ primary retail source for all their daily health and wellness needs.

Bottom Line: Walgreens’ Steps with Balance Rewards program continues to propel the brand to leader of the loyalty pack.

Sears “Points for Progress” Program

Sears is leveraging its position as one of America’s largest sellers of treadmills, elliptical machines, and home gym set-ups to create a robust fitness rewards program for “everyday athletes.” Through a tie-in with, Sears is incorporating a wide range of fitness activities and making it easy for member to report their progress using popular mobile apps and wearable fitness devices.

Shop Your Way members can join the “Points for Progress” program by registering for, and connecting a fitness device or supported app to track activity. In addition to community features like challenges and leaderboards, also offers exclusive fitness content, including workout programs, and fitness and nutrition articles submitted by a panel of health and wellness experts.

Sears' Community Offers Exclusive Content, Including a Variety of Workout Programs

Sears’ Community Offers Exclusive Content, Including a Variety of Workout Programs

Sears kicked off the January 2014 roll out of the Points for Progress program with the #FitIn14 Challenge in which members earn $5 (5,000 points) in rewards for every 14 miles they walk or run in 2014.

Whether shoppers do just a little, or max out the daily earning opportunities, almost every activity on earns points. And with no minimum balance required for users to redeem those points, Sears and Kmart should expect to see those loyal customers early and often in 2014!

Bottom Line: Incorporating popular mobile apps, wearable tech, and a wealth of exclusive online content will surely strengthen Sears’ relationship with tech-savvy and fitness-minded customers.

Your Turn

Are fitness tie-ins with loyalty programs set to go the distance? Or do you think they’ll fall by the wayside like so many New Year’s Resolutions?

[This post originally appeared on]